An interesting thing happens every now and then. All my normal habitual patterns get scrambled, stymied or suspended for some reason. Travel definitely does this for most people. Particularly travel plans gone awry for some reason such as cancelled flights or road closings. Weather jumps in and contributes as well – like last week with the chill wind whipping around the house and the rain and slushy snow falling outside. It can be the power going out, or the internet going down for some reason that is not readily remedied. It might be an illness or some other physical or emotional drop in energy. Whatever the reason, a break from our normal routines can be taken a number of ways.
In these time periods, which can last from hours to days, I choose to see it as the universe offering me the opportunity to slow down, and willingly let go of my normal routine. In these moments I can find myself frustrated, or, I can drop into quiet and reflection.
So this past week offered me many such opportunities.
On December 23rd, an hour after we drove up the coastline on Rt. 1 to our friend’s home, a rock slide with boulders the size of SUVs closed the highway, cutting us off from our Christmas eve and day plans back at Esalen. Link to photos of the rock slide.
We shifted gears to a quiet day with Steve and Janna tucked into their warm and welcoming home. No plans, nowhere to go. We all talked for hours, sharing things not said for years, exploring topics not opened for decades in some cases. It was a wonderful, rich dialogue. Reflection on how are lives have been – Steve and I have known each other since our pre-teens, with our family connections interweaving in ways that are quite unusual and yet are a natural part of our shared history.
Later that day the road was re-opened (sort-off, and temporarily) and we had another chance for reflection – do we risk it or not? In the end we had the adventure of daring to drive back down the boulder-strewn highway to re-join our friends at Esalen. We chanced it and had a wonderful time. We all got a wonderful meal, and I sang my heart out, helping to co-lead the Christmas carols in the lodge .
We got to do a fabulous walk on Pfeiffer Beach with friends on Christmas day and Aren got to hike with his friends, so all was well. I took a minor spill crossing a stream but learned a whole new rehab skill in the process. And, yes Carlos, you had been telling this for years – I just needed that one more time for it to stick! It was a totally different Christmas Day for us than we have ever experienced before. But wonderful – really great.
Traveling home had it’s own set of flight disruptions, which all turned out better than could possibly be expected – like our lost reservations turning into my long-legged guys being put in the exit row and me in first class at no extra charge!
Then Carlos somehow managed to catch that virus-no-one-would-ever-want which really peaked as we traveled home. So Thursday and Friday were very quiet in our home. He actually cancelled two entire days of patients. I don’t remember that ever happening before. It gave him some rest and re-entry time that he would not have had otherwise. And no internet when we got home due to God-Only-Knows-What. I got it started again today, but in the meantime, we have had puttering time. Unpacking after a month away time. Rest time. Reflection time.
I hope this holiday season affords you some rest and reflection time as well. As we approach the new year, it is naturally a time for taking time out to look back, reflect, and then dream on what you want in the coming year. I look forward to taking that time in the next two days myself. Enjoy!